What do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are miniscule creatures that live
and feed on both you and your pets. If you looked at a flea with a
magnifying glass, you would see that they were round and black, with
short front legs and large hind legs. Without a magnifying glass,
they will be little black specks that are either crawling on skin or
bouncing off of it. The easiest way to identify them is through their
erratic jumping motions.
What do Flea Bites Look Like?
Flea Bites look like smaller versions
of Mosquito Bites. Fleas, unlike Mosquitoes and Bedbugs, will bite
repeatedly once they have found a temporary host. Flea Bites can also
form blisters in sensitive individuals. Flea Bites are cause small,
raised bumps that are surrounded by a red rash.
What Diseases do Flea Bites Cause?
Flea Bites can sometimes cause disease
and infection. If Flea Bites cause blisters, they should be
considered open sores and treated as such, because they frequently
cause infections when they form blisters. Fleas can carry tapeworms,
plague, and typhus, and they can agitate asthma and anemia in
Where Are Fleas Most Common?
Fleas can live and thrive anywhere in
the United States, but they are most attracted to areas which are
both warm and humid. In areas of the country which are warm, like the
West Coast and the Deep South, Fleas live and thrive year round, and
they are seasonal pests in areas which are colder and dryer, such as
the Northeast and the Mountain West.
Where do Fleas Live?
Fleas are like Bedbugs, because they
like to live near their hosts. Unlike Bedbugs, Fleas will live on a
furry host if they are given the opportunity, and will even lay their
eggs in your pet's hair. If no hosts are available, Fleas can live in
carpets and mattresses and other areas where they can easily hide.
They are difficult to crush, because of
their size, and they are incredibly mobile, so they don't need to
live on a host if none are available.
How Can I Kill or Prevent Fleas?
Fleas can only survive in sufficiently
humid environments. Maintaining an internal Humidity of 50% or below
will kill off all fleas and eggs which do not currently have a host
within two days. Washing clothes, bedding, and curtains will also
kill any fleas that have established a presence in these areas.
Flea Sprays and Flea Foggers can also
be very effective at eliminating Fleas over time. The most effective
Flea Foggers and Sprays contain a chemical which prevents Bedbugs
from developing into sexual maturity.
Last, vacuuming is highly effective at
sucking fleas and their eggs up, and getting them out of your house.
When Should I Call an Exterminator
Flea Dips and Flea Medications can kill
fleas that are on your pets and make them less desirable hosts, but
you will need to eradicate dormant fleas in your home as well. Minor
flea problems can be treated effectively by a home owner, but major
flea problems can be very difficult to tackle, especially in areas
like the South, where humidity is an uncontrollable condition.
Exterminators will use methods such as
fumigation, and will have access to home treatments which are not
readily available to DIY Exterminators. Call an Exterminator in order
to treat large-scale infestations.